For every gunslinger/action hero that has ever graced the silver screen, there has usually been a reliable sidekick, eager to support their no. 1 and/or get involved in the action.
If a team wants to have any chance of tasting championship glory in the NFL, they need a solid quarterback — and a backup who can fill in at a moment’s notice, if need be, and provide adequate to outstanding relief until the no. 1 returns. There’s no way around it.
Even when a team has one of the greatest defenses ever, like the 2015 Denver Broncos, they still needed an aging and now retired Peyton Manning, and back-up Brock Osweiler (now no.1 in Houston) to muster up a few drives on their way through the playoffs and then the Super Bowl win.
So, when not holding clipboards and helping the offensive coordinator, here are the 14 best backup quarterbacks (in no particular order) who, if they weren’t pushing a name starter, could possibly be No. 1 elsewhere (or fill in capably for the big man).
We’ve been hard on McCown before, for good reasons, most having to do with his salary. Yet, throughout the circus that has been the Cleveland Browns, McCown was solid last year and is the best choice of backup for new no. 1 Robert Griffin III. McCown was decent in eight games with the Browns last season, throwing for 2,109 yard, 12 touchdowns and just four interceptions (for a rating of 93.3). The well-traveled (he’s on his seventh different club) 14th-year veteran should be able to easily step into the premier role, should Griffin III stumble badly or get hurt, which has happened frequently. There were rumors of McCown going to Dallas as a backup, but the Browns wisely kept the price high and put the rumor to rest.